Hot Water Fish

Yamary’s rainbow fish

  • Scientific name:  Melanotaenia boesemani
  • Common Name: Rainbow Fish, Yamary’s Rainbow Fish, Rainbowfish
  • Aquarium size:  200 liters
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature:  Between 24º and 26ºC
  • pH: Between 7 and 8
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Length:  10 cms


The rainbow fish of the Yamary, Rainbowfish or by its scientific name Melanotaenia boesemani, is one of the most popular fish in tropical or hot water aquariums . If we talk about unspecified rainbow “fish”, we will be talking about the Melanotaenidae , the family under which all the so-called rainbow fish fall.
They are very attractive fish, covered with a large number of colors, which manage to attract the attention of all aquarium fans.
The first specimens to reach aquariums date back to 1955, although it is in the 1980s that this species is known worldwide and its great popularity begins.
Perhaps due to uncontrolled extraction and degradation of its natural habitat, the Yamary rainbow fish is in danger of extinction.
For aquarium lovers, it is really not a problem and it is possible to continue buying rainbow fish, since the supply to pet shops comes from fish farms, mainly located in the East and in the countries of Eastern Europe.


The rainbow fish of the Yamary, is a fish of about 10 centimeters in length for the male, and about 8 centimeters for the female.
Its reasonably small size allows it to live in aquariums that are not too large, a fact that facilitates its popularity.
They have an elongated and laterally compressed body, in the shape of a flat oval.
Physiologically they are very symmetrical , with the naked eye in young specimens, there are no major differences between the dorsal area of ​​the fish and the ventral area.
It is in the adult specimens, when the fish present a certain bulge on the back , which worsens with age.
They are fish that feed on live food on the surfaceThis is why its mouth has a slight upward inclination, which also prevents it from eating food that is deposited at the bottom of the aquarium.

Coloring of the rainbow fish of the Yamari

Although all the fish of the Melanotaenidae family are rainbow fish, it is the Melanotaenia boesemani that really groups a large number of colors on its body: red, orange, yellow, violet and turquoise blue, are some of the colors that we can appreciate , in different ranges of gradation.
The color of the male rainbow fish is brighter and more intense than that of the female rainbow , with more matte tones.
Another sexual dimorphism is the appearance they take as they become adults. The bulging of the back is only present in males, while females retain a more stylized body.

Distribution and habitat

Boeseman’s rainbow fish are located in very few geographic locations. Most of them come from Indonesia, in lakes Ajamaru, (Penínsuda de Vogelkop in Irian Jaya) Hain and Aitinjo.
Rainbow fish from the Yamary can also be found in Australia and New Guinea.


The Melanotaenia boesemani like the shallow waters of the lakes , where the vegetation grows more densely.
They are hard and alkaline waters, with pHs around 8 and 9 , although it is possible to find them in some rivers with access to the same lakes, in which the pH ranges from 6 to 6.5.
In general, they like clean and crystalline waters.

Aquarium conditions

For the rainbow fish to be in perfect condition, the aquarium must recreate as much as possible, its conditions and original habitat.
In that sense, as they are fish that live in places with a lot of vegetation, the aquarium must have a large number of plants and space for the fish to swim freely, since they are very active swimmers.
Plants should be chosen, keeping in mind the alkaline, and slightly harsh conditions that rainbow fish prefer. The pH of the water must be kept between 7 and 8, with a temperature between 24º and 26ºC.
The aquarium should have between 100 and 200 liters of water, and have a good filtration, which will encourage the males to display all their color.
It is recommended that the bottom of the aquarium have a dark bottom, so that the colors of the Boeseman’s rainbow fish.

Aquariums by size

  • Small aquariums
  • 10 liter aquariums
  • 20 liter aquariums
  • 30 liter aquariums
  • 40 liter aquariums
  • 50 liter aquariums
  • 60 liter aquariums
  • 80 liter aquariums
  • 100 liter aquariums

Aquarium type

  • Complete aquarium kits
  • Nano aquariums
  • Prawns
  • Aquariums for Bettas
  • Tortugueros
  • Aquariums for kids
  • Farrowing
  • Cheap aquariums


  • AquaLed
  • Tetra


It is an omnivorous fish without great problems to feed , it is a great devourer. All kinds of dry, frozen and live food can be offered to you.
It is important to note that a regular, varied and balanced diet results in an increase in the brightness and intensity of the colors of the rainbow fish.
In this sense, and for better fish health, commercial foods in the form of flakes or granules should be mixed with other live foods, such as insects or worms.
A good option is to add frozen foods, small shrimp and prawns.
The feeding has to be done in several intakes throughout the day, trying not to use too much food and that it remains on the surface, where it is easier for them to catch it, if it falls to the bottom they will not be able to eat it.

Everything you need to maintain your aquarium

  • Best digital pH meter
  • Best Aquarium Test
  • Best anti-algae
  • Best bacteria for aquarium
  • Best siphoner for aquarium
  • Best Aquarium Water Clarifiers
  • Best reverse osmosis filters for aquarium
  • Best UV lamps for aquariums

Behavior and compatibility

We are dealing with very calm fish, without any problem within a community aquarium, although they are quite active, so they could disturb other much slower fish.
They will share space without problems with other rainbow fish, danios , barbels and coridoras , with which they will not conflict over the aquarium space.
They are gregarious, so it is convenient to have several specimens of the same species in the aquarium, it is recommended that they be between 6 and 8, but it is obvious that it will depend on the size of the aquarium.
Being in the company of others of the same species, they will be less scary and also, the males will show their most striking colors.

Fish compatible with rainbow fish

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Neon Tetra
  • Goldfish
  • Corydoras
  • Silver dollar
  • Rasbora Galaxy
  • Ancistrus
  • Flying Fox Fish
  • Gourami Pearl
  • Discus fish
  • Botia Clown
  • Climb

Restricted Compatible Fish

  • Ax fish
  • Female betta
  • Killis
  • Molly fish
  • Platy Fish
  • Zebra fish
  • Little nun
  • Guppy
  • Snail Apple
  • Harlequin fish
  • Tiger Barbel
  • Ramirezi


Although they are relatively simple fish to breed, the ideal to be successful in their reproduction, is to use a breeding aquarium.
The breeding aquarium should be equipped with alkaline water, slightly hard and with a pH in the environment of 7.5, in which the temperature is in the high range of your needs.
You have to choose a partner for the aquarium , the ideal is to choose the female that we see more chubby and the male with the brightest colors.
To encourage spawning, raising the water temperature often works very well.
Spawning begins when the couple swim together after a small ritual of approaching the female to the male.
At a certain moment, they abruptly separate and it is when spawning occurs, which the male takes advantage of to fertilize.
When spawning begins, it usually lasts for several weeks, in which the female spawns every day, some eggs attached by a small thread, which end up attached to the plants or rocks in the aquarium.
The eggs hatch between 7 and 12 days after laying.
Once the fry are free swimming, it is necessary to feed them with suitable products. They grow very slowly.


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